VOCAL Advocacy

Tonight, Monday, August 21 from 5pm – 6pm. 1-866-423-8755 Guest code: 271381 We will discuss the survey from disAbility Law Center Virginia and make suggestions for priorities. Please read the FY 18 dLCV Goals and Focus Areas in advance.

Also, we will discuss the proposed budget cuts to the Mental Health Block Grant. This important grant supports  statewide organizations such as VOCAL, MHAV and SAARA, many peer programs and peer-run centers as well as recovery-oriented programs in CSBs and SUD recovery programs. If you have an opinion about this, or have a positive story to share about how peer support and recovery programming have made a difference in your life, please let your representatives know.

On Wednesday, August 23 at 10 AM please join a group conversation about the block grant with peer leaders and Rhonda Thissen at the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. Dial 800-832-0736 and enter meeting room number *8494730

VOCAL will host a second advocacy call on Thursday, August 24 at 6pm to give more time to the issue of the Mental Health Block Grant. 1-866-423-8755 Guest code: 271381

A public hearing on the block grant application has been scheduled for Friday, August 25, 2017, from 10 AM to 12 PM in room 1237 at the DBHDS Central Office, which is located at 1220 Bank Street, Richmond, Virginia, 23218.  The public is encouraged to attend.

Mental Health Services for Those Impacted by the White Supremacy Rally

The Community Mental Health and Wellness Coalition is committed to the health and wellbeing of our community following the violence that occurred at the white supremacist rallies on August 11th and 12th.   While there is no standard way of processing or expressing feelings of grief, fear, and anxiety, there are proven ways to reduce trauma such as reaching out for mental health support.  The Help Happens Here website and information line is an important community resources for local residents who are struggling with the violence that has affected our community.

Help Happens Here is a public awareness campaign spearheaded by the Community Mental Health and Wellness Coalition.  The Help Happens Here campaign connects residents to local providers that offer free or affordable care through the Help Happens Here website,

www.helphappenshere.org, and through an information and referral line (434-227-0641).  The referral line is answered Monday-Friday between the hours of 9am and 4pm, but residents can call after hours and leave a message that will be returned within one business day. All calls are confidential and can be anonymous if you prefer not to identify yourself.

Reaching out for assistance after a traumatic event is important, and the Help Happens Here referral line can direct you to current information about services in our community, including services for individuals who are uninsured or underinsured, as well as pro-bono therapists who are offering brief therapy.  This Resilient Charlottesville, a group of local mental health organizations and clinicians, will be offering free individual counseling starting this Saturday, August 19, 9am-3 pm, at the Jefferson-Madison Central Library, 201 E. Market St., and continuing throughout the week. Child care available. For the full schedule: https://jmrlblog.com/2017/08/16/community-pop-up-programs/.

Free Brief Counseling Offered to Richmonders Exposed to Violence in Charlottesville

Richmond area mental health providers are volunteering to donate free brief counseling services to Richmonders who were in Charlottesville last weekend. Counter-protestors and volunteers (medics, legal observers, etc.) can contact Nicole O-Pries at 804-601-6408 to  be matched with a counselor/therapist who has agreed to donate free individual sessions.

At the time of this post, 13 counselors have donate at least 3 sessions to help individuals navigate the immediate effects of exposure to violence in Charlottesville. We expect this list will grow in the next 48 hours. This is an informal network of counselors and therapists who want to support those Richmonders who showed up for justice in Charlottesville. Space is limited to the number of volunteers in the network. Please note that brief services may not be adequate for all.

Please pass this information to the people who need our support.

To be matched with a counselor: 804-601-6408

If you are therapist located in the Greater Richmond area and would like to donate sessions: https://goo.gl/forms/hoxVsnqfQH6nAGBv2


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